Japanese Cranes in snow storm

by Etkin Larry

japanese cranes in snow storm hokkaido nikon ns fuji etkin larry

Gallery: Single Photos

Tags: japanese cranes snow storm hokkaido nikon n90s fuji velvia 50 tamron 400 f4

Category: Uncategorized

Published: Tuesday 26th of August 2003 02:37:35 AM


Comments

Mert Gokalp
10/10 What a capture of animal behaviour. This one is full of nature and quality. If this shot was in a nature magazine any kind of explanation about it would be spoiling the image

Marnix Teeken
Please share more of your crane photo's (if possible). Great exemplary picture !!!

Marco Chiapponi
Absolute !!!

Howard Liu
It is absolutely beautiful!

Margaret S.
Fantastic - composition, color, poses. I love the almost B&W look to it. Bravo!

Francesco Martini
Magnific capture...excellent shot!

Alan Chan
Beautiful !

Saikat Pathak
Didn't I see this in the Nat Geo channel ? Was it you shooting there :) ? Absolutely beautiful shot. Great work.

Mark Anthony
"Ditto" As Alan said.."Beautiful"

Igor Laptev
Just great!!!

J. Scott Schrader
Being a wildlife photographer myself, (I make my living photographing wildlife) I must say that this is an amazing image. I have been wanting to photograph Japanese Cranes in the snow for several years now. (I continue to look forward to the day when I will have that opportunity.) This image is very close to what I picture in my mind when I think of Japanese Cranes. The beauty, gracefullness, symetry and muted pallete all combine to create an exceptional and very memorable image. Very nicely executed! Thanks for sharing this image with us. I don't have a constructive comment for anything that could have been done to improve this image. It is gorgeous!

Larry Etkin
Marnix, I have added several more Crane images to my folder. Thanks for interest. Larry Etkin

Kristin Piljay
Amazing photo!

Daniel Vinklar
nice picture of beautiful birds, these beautiful creatures would deserve the highest technical quality of the picture though. very nice catch. you were very lucky! show us more cranes, please. dv.

Vlad P.
Beautiful picture, well composed. Very nice colors, soft tones in bg vs. good contrast in fg, and excellent timing. Well done.

Hazel Billingsley
A truly wonderful capture!

Seven Stuartson
Great shot, more words would be superfluous.

Marianna Safronova
Incredible photo! Beautiful and elegant.

Luis Gil
Bellisima! congratuletions

Alexander O
A genuine work of art. Tour de force!

Jan Frosik
It is! Ditto Alexander O! Great shot!!!

Tim Agnello
Wow! Great contrast on gray (day) background. Looks like they know each other well!

Jyh Ren Lim
You really got this shot right. Fantastic, absolutely wonderful!

Michael Hiltner
Jananese cranes lovely, inspiring!, magnificent!

Angus Lai
Can't believe my eyes!! Can't believe my eyes!! This just looks like painting. Excellent!

Digital Eye
Japanese Cranes A beauty to behold! Rare capture!

dawn keyotie
this is a perfect example of how amazing wildlife photography can be. i love this photo. i will remember this photo forever.

Nick Angiolillo
interesting choice of film for this situation, but it obviously worked for you. i absolutely love this photo. the birds are so elegant in their dance and your exposure is the spot on!

Michele Ciofalo
Hangover I have the impression that the crane on the right was artificially moved slightly from its original position so as to change its perspective relation with the other elements in the photo... OK, I was joking. Just a hangover from the nightmarish POW discussion of last week. It is really refreshing to come back to the open air... and the snow. This is a great image, well worth the NG cover.

jake richardson
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin yes, it's very good! it has the slightest patch of red, but mostly black and white. what would happen to the image, if it were changed in photoshop to a black, and white?

G .
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin One of those few pictures where I don't have much to say. Mainly because I feel there is no 'critique' to offer. Congrats, I enjoy this photo for the goofiness of the characters & their mid dancing pose, the muted & gentle colour palette, the beautiful fine misty snow, and a perfect execution. Top marks from me.

G .
Another Disclaimer ...ok they aren't actually dancing but it looks like they are :)

f m
well, well, well... now that is truly refreshing... thanks... it's such a quiet photo, balanced, essential.

Alan Chan
Theme There is used to be a theme for discussion - Would it be fair to call this "Beauty of Nature" ?! Truely lovely scene. Congratuation, Larry for this POW - an honour you well deserve. I wonder why Larry has chosen such slow film for this type of high-speed and dull colour job. BTW, this must be a "film burning" excercise and I guess he must have fired hundreds of rolls before getting this fabulous shot. Michele (our perspective/geometry engineer) has cracked a joke - i am sure he (and other "manipulation" detectives) would be much less excited than last week. It is certainly this case for me :)

Karen Rexrode
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin From the moment I first saw this photo, it imprinted on me. I could only smile when it became photograph of the week. I can't tell you how many people I have described this image too, imagine the prance, the feet lifted, yep... I did all that. It is stunning!

P Sul
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin I'm curious... the birds are moving, but this was shot on a gray day (snowstorm) with Velvia? You must own some very, VERY expensive glass to be able to freeze motion with those restraints!

Larry Etkin
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Patrick, You are correct. There is a mistake in the technical details and the film was Fuji Sensia 100. This was posted several months ago and I hadn't noticed the error. However, interestingly enough this portion of the ritual dance is rather slow and deliberate so the motion was not very fast hence I was able to capture the image. Yes, Alan film burning was involved...also a bit of numb fingers and toes since I was traveling rather light and it was COLD!!! I'm really honored by the selection of this shot for the photo of the week ...thanks! Larry Etkin

Patanjali Parimi
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Wow! what a wonderful capture of nuptial ritual of Japanese Cranes. This is what it is, a courtship dance. Thanks!

Marc G.
Congratulations Superb image. And if you haven't edged out, copied, and pasted the same bird from another shot into this one, then I suppose we'll have a peaceful week...:-) Best regards.

Dougity B
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Those are different birds. You can tell from their neck patterns.

Kent Tolley
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin I could look at this photograph for a long time and not get tired. Years. Maybe more. There is something perfect about it. After freezing your feet to get this you really deserve this honor. Congratulations.

Landrum Kelly
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin I'd like to be able to offer some kind of critical analysis, but the fact is that I don't know how you could improve on this photo. You must have waited a long time in adverse conditions, and it looks like you got what you were waiting for. Congratulations on PoW.

Tony Dummett
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Elegant, yes and attractive, but he might have snapped this after five minutes, from the car. Who knows? Who cares? Great pic.

Olaf Lochschmidt
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Picture looks to me as "haiku" as I could have ever imagined before seeing this one. Not only as an animal or bird shot, but being truely "japanese", like calligraphy on white paper

Jeff Davidson
Wonderful..... It appears to be unanimous! This is a magnificent image. The stark contrast between the birds and the background is wonderful. Most images captured in the snow to not have this effect. BRAVO!!!

David Katz
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Nice posture, and snow is powerfull

jaq b
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin they seem like dancing to the snow. it gives -as someone said- a refreshing feeling and not only because of the snow. A picture that many of us -certainly me- would like to have in their portfolio. thank you, g

Marshall Goff
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Amazing what this photo has done: It's left G nearly speechless. That's a powerful photograph.

The subtle background tones complete this image to my eye, giving it depth that is impressive in an image with so few elements. The paucity of elements gives it its elegance as well, and the birds themselves give it its fun. It's clearly not full-frame, but the shape of the image feels right. Nice work. Enjoy.

Andreas Weber
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Excellent photo!! Only question: Why are the black parts of the cranes without any snowflake?

peter sherman
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin larry, your photograph's tonal simplicty and complimentary backdrop merge with the synchronized ritualistic posturing (composition) of the cranes to create an image that is soft-spoken, lovely and ultimately memorable. I have never seen the dancing cranes in person and am sure you have rolls of images as they are focused on their courting and sparking. It might be a fun excercise to see the 'contact sheet' sometime, to see where you were (conceptually) and what did and did not work for you. Thanks for sharing this photo with us. It's a rare photo when I have no critique and its a pleasure to just sit back... with some music (Sting happens to be on right now "fragile") and imagine being there myself. What has become known as the japanese aesthetic seems to be most available in japan. You have several other strong photos in your portfolio but this stands above the others. You are talented. pete sherman

Greg S
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Larry, If you ever market this photo as a Christmas card, please let me know. It's a celebration of life! Congrats on a fine image and POW. Cheers, Greg

Carl Root
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Interesting . . . . It's Wednesday morning and by now, many POW discussions are beginning to slow down, as this one appears to be. I wonder why no one is inclined to take a successful shot like this and analyze it from the standpoint of why it works . . . . after all, so many of us can go on and on about why images fail. For example, images with two subject often create unwanted attention because they compete with each other. Why isn't this a problem here? I have some ideas, but I wondered if anyone else had had a similar reaction.

Bernhard Mayr
Carl Repetition of a key element, thats why it works. Just like identical twins dressed alike standing next to each other attract attention.

Vincent K. Tylor
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin A great shot here Larry! We humans are not used to watching animals dance. Here you have captured not one, but TWO, together at the same time in perfect sync and harmony as well as in a near perfect snowy setting. It also helps to recognize the male and female so distinctly. The male just slightly larger and a bit more color. The female smaller, perhaps a bit more delicate....they balance each other very well. To me, this is a once in a lifetime capture...and a very worthy picture of the week!! Thanks for sharing.

Patrick Hudepohl
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin I have posted a separate thread with all nominations for this week:

http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=006YyP

Enjoy!

Laura E. Napolitano
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin I like the flatness of the image. It's not so much three dimensional, and reminds me more of an ink painting done on rice paper. I don't look at them and see dancing...I think they're just being cute and hanging out together. Even better yet, I like the maroon spots that they have. It definitely reminds the viewer that it's a color image and not b/w which gives rise to a muted, quiet atmosphere.

P. Neil Ralley
Is this a (very well-deserved) record??? I cannot claim to have monitored every POW with a fine tooth-comb but I seem to recall that even when an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous shot has been singled out there always seems to be some dissenting voice amongst the praise. Someone who finds fault with the image in some way, often seeming to just want to be plain old contrarian. This image, and highly deservingly so IMO, does not seem to have picked up even the teensiest negative comment and I think that this may be a record. All that said it is a stunning shot and deserves all the praise it has got and a heap more besides. How can one improve on perfection?

GIANNI SACCHETTI
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin I am fond of oriental art and I like very much this photo! It's a LIVE japanese screen! 10/10

Marc G.
SCOOP ! It could at least have been TWICE as good as this if... ... if you would have used twin lenses or the latetest twinning software !

Doug Burgess wrote: "Those are different birds. You can tell from their neck patterns."

Apologies, Doug... just couldn't resist and I HAD to prove you wrong...:-)

Patanjali Parimi
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Marc, however, usually a courtship dance is performed by two cranes. your composition is interesting, but unnatural. Its not wildlife. Hope you saw a natural composition of many birds, POW of 22 Sep.

Patanjali Parimi
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin on second thoughts....I see that you were addressing specifically, Doug. So your manipulation makes sense now....

Arvi Finn
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin This is photography at it's best! Good, exotic, beautiful subject, technically faultless execution. Your shot makes me happy! Congratulations!

Michele Ciofalo
Hangover plus Nightmare Ahaaarghhh! Am I wrong, or is Marc suggesting that a single bird was digitally duplicated? This looked like such a peaceful week!

Brian Kennedy
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Michelle, I think Marc's remark is tongue-in-cheek. He even used an emoticon :-). Gorgeous shot. I've been going straight to the forums lately and forgot about the POW -- look what I've been missing!

Marc G.
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin No, Michele...:-) I can't say whether it was manipulated - maybe and maybe not. And since the photographer declared it unmanipulated, why would I doubt him. All I meant to say is that it could easily have been created from 2 separate shots. Conclusions are up to you, but basically, if you don't get caught for "murder", is murder ok...? :-) I just found it interesting that this week, nobody suspected a possible PS manipulation - whereas I did. It depends on the weather, I guess, or on the size of the manipulated creatures...:-))

Sam M-M
Marc, You suspected, but gave us no evidence. I suspected, looked at it, found no evidence, smiled and said, it doesn't matter. I like the composition, the tones, the image, can find nothing technically flawed, whether because of the glass, the camera or the computer. So I have nothing to say and simply step back and appreciate it. Last week, the mob formed only after the first evidence was presented.

Sam M-M
Forgot Something I'm sorry, I forgot my emoticon. ;) And, Larry, great photo!

peter sherman
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin hi marc, i too looked at the shot (as a animal behaiviorist) and all fell properly into place. in fact, as lovely as the shot is (and its one of the subtlest and most peaceful i have seen of cranes), their dance is highly ritualized and rather cliche as photographic subject matter. (I still wish it was ME who got that cliche in MY portfolio.) what these birds are doing here is what these birds do for a living--when hormones surge. munchkins, however, don't often visit St. Peter's.... they were an instant give-away. the star-trail lighting... also drew suspicion. The birds, however, are flying well below my skeptic's radar...

Marc G.
Sam, You wrote:

"You suspected, but gave us no evidence."

Duh... Yes, you are right. Nor did I pretend to present any evidence. I hope it is not a requirement to present evidences.

"I suspected, looked at it, found no evidence, smiled and said, it doesn't matter."

Well, it would matter to me, to some extent, in this particular case, because I find magic the way these two birds follow each other. If it ain't real, it's still nice, but less magical to me.

"I have nothing to say and simply step back and appreciate it."

Well, that's allowed. :-)

"Last week, the mob formed only after the first evidence was presented."

The Mob ? :-) I wish the crowd could sometimes get assembled to discuss things, and not just to slam this or that. I think you partly missed the irony of my post, Sam. What I was trying to say is stated above. Can we get away with fakery when it's well done ? That's the question I was asking.

I posted my 4 birds joke to show that in one hour, you can make 4 birds that look different enough. I posted it, as I said, in response to Doug Burgess, who seemed to say that this could not be the same bird because there were differences at the level of the neck. The only "evidence" I have presented was (hopefully) an evidence that you can never really tell for sure, because you can modify the neck and everything else in the frame. The irony is then that a person gets slammed for using PS in a way that betrays the usage of PS, whereas good PS work would pass for an actual straight photo.

All the above was posted as an invitation to think about the PS issue IN GENERAL. As I said also, I have no reason to doubt Larry, who declared this POW unmanipulated. I love this POW and rated it a 7/7, so it's got nothing to do with Larry's photo per se. Hope this explains my previous posts. It was a "Tongue in cheek" episode, as Brian Kennedy put it...

Would PS be the only crime that is no longer a crime if there is no evidence (of a manipulation)...? Or is PS a crime no matter whether the PS work is discovered or not ? Food for thought...? Maybe... maybe not... hopefully...:-)

Larry Etkin
Response to comments about Japanese Cranes in snow storm I enjoyed seeing the manipulated cloned crane images...they actually look pretty cool. I am amused at the speculation of photographic cloning as well as manipulation for the "Cranes in a Snowstorm" image. However, I must confess that I have cloned things in the past. I'm a scientist (developmental biologist) and have cloned living frogs through nuclear transplantation. I can assure everyone that, at least for me, making clones of frogs would be easier than making photographic crane clones since my skills at photoshop etc are at the novice stage. The crane images are not manipulated other than color correction to eliminate the bluish cast from the film scan and a small amount of cropping. Having this image as POW has been a real thrill since it's one of my favorites and really appreciate the excellent feedback from all participants of the forum. I also want to thank those majestic "Cranes" and the juxtaposition of the elements (ie snow showers) for creating this image. I really feel that an image can be no better than the subjects that we photograph and in that instant the shutter is released we can only hope to capture what is in our minds eye. A combination of a little skill and a lot of luck are major factors in any good photograph. :) Larry Etkin

Bill Plato
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Caption: Hey Baby; do you do more than dance. :)

Steve Bingham
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin I just LOVE this image. However, to contribute to the cloning debate, I would bet serious money the two images have either been merged or the distance between the two birds shortened. (Notice the area between the two birds looks somewhat cloned). And who gives a crap. It IS a great picture and whatever it takes is cool with me. This is one rather special image (or two).

Alan Chan
Detective please It's been a quiet week and there are still two more days before a new POW. In the light of Steve's heavy money bet, can we summon PN detectives .. again please :)

Larry Etkin
Response to Steve by Larry Etkin Hey Steve I know a sure bet when I see it...how much??? :) But in all fairness...the birds are as they were in the field! Larry Etkin

Landrum Kelly
A few words about criticism. . . . Yes, this has been a peaceful week, thankfully, and there have been no overt accusations. That is even more of a relief. The photo's perfection has perhaps been a factor in that. Two possible suggestions of possible (but only possible) manipulation have been gently rebuffed by the photographer, and no accusations were made. That's been the good news. Has the criticism been good in the sense of being interesting and constructive? Well, it has not been bad, but not much of a really insightful nature has been offered, either. I mention all this not only because of last week's tortuous discussion of manipulation (much of which discussion was actually quite good, but it was buried under much that was not so good), but also because it seems that some discussion of the lack of criticism seem to have come from confusing criticism and detective work. Yes, the authenticity of a photo is always relevant. Now, whether a PoW forum ought to come to sound more and more like a forensics debate rather than a genuine forum in art/photographic criticism is quite another. I have no book of rules for art criticism, and I do not consider myself to be an art critic. In my field of political philosophy (not, alas, aesthetics), we have one primary rule: no _ad hominem_ arguments. I am wondering if the question of authenticity of photos (by which I mean here overwhelmingly the issue of honesty with regard to the degree of manipulation) has not become yet another way for the abhorred _ad hominem_ to creep back in. What is common to both detective work and _ad homimen_ criticism is the accusatory tone. I shall posit a thesis: It is the tone of accusation which has spoiled many a fine discussion on this site, and art criticism can and ought to be done without that tone of accusation. I suggest that unfounded accusations of a speculative nature be nipped in the bud as a form of disguised _ad homimen_ argument and that they be deleted from the discussion thread as quickly as possible. Hard evidence presented succinctly is quite another thing. Those who want to make an enduring contribution to criticism, that is, will have to learn to write about something else, since unfounded accusatory statements will be relegated to the trash bin. I hope that that is not wishful thinking on this part. We are all still learning the rules of cyber-discussion, it seems, but opening or entering a forum ought not to instill us with a sense of dread, and that is what I have come to feel of late when I venture onto the PoW discussions. I sense that some of the most experienced photographers and critics who have anguished even more about the paucity of criticism have felt that sense of dread even more poignantly than I, and I think that they--and we neophytes as well--would all feel a little better if we could find out what is ailing our generally healthy and progressive site. Let's face it--it's our favorite site, and we wouldn't be anguishing over it so much if we didn't love it. I know that contentiousness is a part of criticism, and I live constantly in my own profession with contentiousness. God help us if we should stop contending. Then criticism WILL have ceased. I am only asking that we find out what happens when that contentiousness crosses the line into something vicious, and thus do I make the tentative suggestion that it is the accusatory tone. In short, I do believe that good criticism (and even good contentious criticism) is possible if the accusatory tone can somehow be taken out.

Sam M-M
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin My comment wasn't meant to be a suggestion of manipulation, or to imply that Marc had suggested that manipulation actually had occurred (I don't think he did). Frankly, I now find it hard to look at any photograph without thinking about manipulation, but my answer to Marc's question may not be what he expects: if I cannot figure out that manipulation has been done, I do not care whether it has or not. Authenticity for me means "is it the artist's work" not "is this a reproduction of what the artist saw". (Oh, and the "mob" comment was meant to be ironic - I was a small part of that session myself.) This is likely a good discussion for another place, and look forward to having it. I very much enjoyed Larry's response to the line of discussion. Lannie makes a more important point, however, which is that "not much of a really insightful nature has been offered". Let me say that my own view of this photograph is that it is one that provokes in me a strong aestetic response: I find it uncommonly beautiful, on top of which it brings a smile to my face because the dancing birds are, of course, somewhat amusing. It is a well done photograph technically. It is a classy photograph (even without manipulation, I found last week's pow to be a bit ordinary and kitshy for my taste). But it is not either particularly complex or deeply profound photograph that I can say much more about, which is fine, as not every photograph need be, and that may be as much of the reason for a more subdued discussion without much "really insightful" being said. But if someone can tell me otherwise, I would be very interested.

Larry Etkin
Response to Lannie et al by Larry Etkin This (ie cloning, manipulation etc) has turned into more of a discussion then I anticipated. I guess the bottom line is whether or not we accept the word of our fellow contributors as truth or whether we feel the need to continually test and challenge. As a trained scientist we always look at data in a skeptical manner and we go back to the laboratory and repeat the experiments. In the arts, such as photography, we are left with the frustration of not being able to go back to the laboratory to repeat a photograph. Therefore, we resort to the "detective" aspect of trying to figure out if an image is manipulated. I have not felt any negative tone in any comments or questions, rather, I sense more of a curiosity to want to know the truth. Isn't that what it's all about? That's the idea behind forums like this, so in the long run it's really cool. I, for one, enjoy the enthusiasm and challenge of those trying to figure out the reality of an image. I enjoyed Lannie's discussion since it brought to light some good points about cyber-discussion. :)

Carl Root
Larry, " I sense more of a curiosity to want to know the truth. Isn't that what it's all about?" I think so, but every week you'll read comments from people making it clear that the truth of what they're looking at is unimportant. Even more surprising, some appear not to care if they've been lied to. If no one can tell, then it doesn't matter?!?!? What often happens is that more often than not, some observant knowledgable soul figures out that there is something in an image that doesn't add up, in the case of this image, do these birds behave in this way when they are spaced as we see them? I would assume that as in human behavior, how far you are from someone else does affect your interaction, and as you all are probably aware, it varies from one culture to the next. Larry, I believe this is a straight capture and that the spacing of the birds is part of the truth of the image . . . . . . . because you said so and I see nothing that makes me think otherwise.

Marc G.
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Interesting end to this discussion... I agree with Larry that "careful examination" should be welcome. I also agree with Carl that there is no reason to doubt the author - unless of course we see proof of lies. But here, I've looked really VERY carefully, and I couldn't find any sign of a manipulation. The initial doubt I had was mostly based on the position of legs and feet and the fact that the "neck pattern" Doug refered to was so similar on both birds (except for the red area, which could easily be removed on one of the birds). That's why I checked - and I'd say it's also Dan Heller's fault in a way, because last week took a weird turn.

After careful examination of larry's picture, I saw nothing conclusive, and dismissed the manipulation issue.

The funny thing is that I basically answered to Lannie's last post at the beginning of this week, when I said - another tongue-in-cheek remark -, that this week was going to be peceful if this image wasn't manipulated.

Lannie is right that not much of criticism has been offered this week, nor much insight of any kind about the work at hand. But I that was very much expected as far as I am concerned. Why ? Well, the picture IS great. Look at the ratings - for once they seem to really reflect the true value of the image. I personally and simply AGREE that this is one of the best 5 animal shots I've seen on this site. The funny thing is that I saw there was another picture nominated this week - see the link about nominations above -, which was equally suspect to me at first sight regarding manipulations, and imo about as good as this one: the "friends" picture.

What else is there to say about Larry's picture ? Well, perhaps that the 2 birds' position, in a row and singing UP to the clouds as a chorus, was amazing. The hint of red and the overall colors have already been mentionned. What else ? Well, I honestly wouldn't know. And I think that's exactly what a perfect picture is: a slap in the face. It wakes you up and keeps you interested just the same each time you look at it, and you have nothing to say, because you are under the strong impact of what you are looking at.

On top of that, Larry's picture is dead simple, WEIRDLY simple - not to capture, no, but its composition is absolutely clean and direct. No fancy angle, nothing fancy at all in the frame: the simple magic of a magical moment.

And THAT is, to me, what a great life capture can often be all about. From this picture, I am reminded that it is sometimes good to let the subject speak for itself. Not always, but when the subject is itself fantastic, I'd say that simple treatments are often the best.

My personal taste is perhaps more towards making beautiful or interesting subjects more beautiful or more interesting, generally speaking, but I certainly admire simple and wonderful images like this, where the photograph has let reality speak its own language.

Carl asked: "If no one can tell, then it doesn't matter?!?!?"... Well, that's the question I was alluding to earlier. To me, in THIS case, PS or not MATTERS. I am not saying I'd throw this POW away if it was a composite, no, but I like the idea that there are birds like this walking in such a beautiful and funny way in some places of the world where I haven't been. As simple as that. AND if this would have been photoshopped, then the merit would clearly be DIFFERENT.

It is clear that the PHOTOGRAPHIC merit is the one of the original capture - no matter what it was. When I made my 4 birds pix in PS based on Larry's POW, I had ZERO photographic merit; I just hope I had a little PS merit.:-) And mostly I hope it was somehow amusing after last week's "deception".

I would finally add that major PS trickeries on real life captures have truely made it difficult to be sure about anything nowadays, and that's something I regret. And that's what I wanted to say, a week after Dan Heller's POW. On the other hand, PS has helped many photographers to learn certain things and to do certain things BEYOND real life captures - creating images that are on thir minds and which can't come to a purely photographic existence. That's a totally different kind of work - photo-composites etc -, and I personally regret that creative PS works have to sometimes pay too high a price for all the PS-modified real life captures of the past.

Basically, let's not throw the baby with the bath's water (French saying). It's not imo that PS is the devil, not at all; it's just that there have been many inappropriate or dishonest usages of PS.

Sorry for this long plead. Congrats to you Larry.

A.K. Sircar
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Photo haiku-A.K.Sircar

Amélie *
Response to Japanese Cranes in snow storm by Larry Etkin Amazing and beautiful work! dk

Next Image >>